Sabry Alsharkawi was one of the first to implement green farming practices on his farm.
“Everyone was like, ‘We don’t get it,’” Alsharkawi, an agricultural engineer, recalled with a laugh. “I started green farming before it became popular.”
Alsharkawi has successfully performed studies in integrated pest management to grow herbs and plants without pesticides. Since its inception in 1985, Sharkawi Farm in Broad Run has offered its customers chemical-free herbs, teas, and blooming plants.
Alsharkawi and his wife Salwa oversee Sharkawi Farm’s daily operations. Their three children are all grown, but used to work on the farm when they were younger. An interest in agriculture runs in the family — their youngest is currently studying landscape engineering at Virginia Tech.
Herbs and teas make up the bulk of Alsharkawi’s business. Alsharkawi offers 48 different varieties of teas and spices, ranging from fruit to herbal. He especially enjoys teaching customers how to use different spices in their cooking.
“Some people love to buy [spices] and they don’t know how to use them,” said Alsharkawi.
Alsharkawi has been selling his wares at farmers markets in Fairfax County for 26 years, 15 of which have been spent at the Mount Vernon Farmers Market. His favorite part of selling his wares at the farmers market is meeting new people and maintaining bonds with customers turned friends.
“Over the last 26 years, I’ve made tons and tons of friends,” said Alsharkawi. “I have more friends than customers.”
Be sure to visit Sharkawi Farm’s booth at the Mount Vernon Farmers Market on Wednesdays from 8 a.m. until noon.